Surging da Costa makes a clean sweep of Portland E-Prix

Antonio Felix da Costa’s late season surge continued with a third consecutive Formula E victory and a clean sweep of the Portland E-Prix weekend.

In an intense race that saw multiple collisions and damaged front wings due to concertinas into heavy braking zones, it was after a safety car to clear up the debris from those shunts that da Costa came into his own, snatching the lead as the green flag flew on lap 21 of 26 (later extended to 27 as a result of the safety car) and never looking back.

With his title-challenging TAG Heuer Porsche teammate Pascal Wehrlein looming in fourth, da Costa queried if he should assist the German or run his own race. The team responded, “We will not risk the race win,” leading to da Costa dropping the hammer for the final two laps.


Envision Racing’s Robin Frijns closed to within a car length by the final corner of the last lap, but it wasn’t enough to snatch victory.

Jaguar TCS Racing’s Mitch Evans finished third, having tussled with Frijns for second in the final few laps. Before that duel, Wehrlein called for da Costa to let Frijns past to negate a potential race-winning threat from his title rival Evans, but Frijns ultimately managed to keep the Kiwi at bay.

Wehrlein took fourth, despite driving more than 20 laps without a front wing following contact with Edoardo Mortara at the start of lap six.

The TAG Heuer Porsche driver was one of several to complete the race with parts missing from the front of his car, with the race originally slated to be a lap shorter than Saturday’s, leading to more useable energy being on tap, ramping up the speed and intensity of the competition.

Wehrlein’s wing initially got trapped under his car, signaling a potentially early end to his race, but eventually worked its way free. That came at the expense of NEOM McLaren’s Sam Bird who collided with the loose part and had his own race stunted by it. He was joined by teammate Jake Hughes and the Mahindra duo of Mortara and Nyck de Vries in retiring.

Polesitter Jean-Eric Vergne came home fifth, ahead of Nico Mueller, Norman Nato, and Maximilian Guenther. Sebastien Buemi benefitted front the safety car to move up to ninth by race end after serving a drive-through penalty early on for a pre-race MGU change (a penalty which would have been a 20-place grid drop had he qualified further up the field), while Jake Dennis registered the final point with tenth.

Nick Cassidy was a notable absentee from the points positions for the second day in a row. After being caught in a concertina at Turn 1 on lap 13, he pitted – along with Dennis, De Vries, and Caio Collet – to repair the damage, and the safety car that followed at the start of lap 19 ought to have brought him back into contention, but he ultimately couldn’t recover higher than 13th.

He heads to the final two rounds of the season in London still with the championship lead, but only by 12 points over teammate Evans and Wehrlein.

Da Costa is the first driver to win three races in a row since he did it across the Marrakesh and Berlin weekends in the 2019-20 season. With four wins from the last five races, including the three in a row, he has moved into serious championship contention, just 33 points off the lead with 58 still on offer. Had he not been disqualified from the first race of the Misano E-Prix, da Costa would be second in the points, just eight off the lead.

Although he didn’t compete in Portland due to illness, Oliver Rowland also remains in with a credible shout at the championship, sitting just three points back from da Costa.


Story originally appeared on Racer